We thank all our veterans who have fought bravely and selflessly to ensure that the legacy of our great nation endures.
A big congrats to everyone who won last night. I’d like to give a special (nonpartisan) congrats to my old neighbor, Bill de Blazio* — you’ve got a big job ahead of you and I wish you all the luck in the world!
On a related note, to everyone out there who doesn’t think their vote counts: look at yesterday’s election. Thanks to amazingly low voter turnout, there’s a district in NYC where Ray Lhota (R) won by 100%, receiving two (TWO!) votes. If one person had shown up to vote for de Blazio (or Jimmy McMillan, or any of the 14 other candidates), Lhota’s victory in that district would have dropped to two-thirds. That’s the power of voting. Don’t forget to use it! And check out the map. It’s fun to play with!
*I lived next door to the headquarters of Councilperson Bill de Blasio for years. I’m proud to see a neighbor make it big.
Sure, it’s an “off” year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t elections! We’ll be voting. How about you?
If you have any good voting stories, share them with us!
Happy Election Day Eve everyone!
Just a reminder for all PA residents (of which I am one) that, despite the state’s controversial, $1 million, tax-dollar-funded, you can still vote in Pennsylvania even if you don’t “have it” to “show it.”* (Your ID, that is.)
So vote safe tomorrow, and don’t let a pollworker turn you away from not bringing your ID!
The Department of State has relaunched its controversial advertising campaign to educate voters about the yet-to-be-implemented voter ID law. Opponents of the law called on Secretary of State Carol Aichele to pull the “misleading” ads.
It’s the Witching Season…and the VOTING Season! Boo, our resident dog, loves dressing up in fabulous costumes almost as much as she loves reminding you to get out there and vote.
She and Long Distance Voter wish you all a Safe and Spooktacular Halloween.
Aasif Mandvi reports on North Carolina voter suppression laws.
(True story: Don Yelton lost his job as a result of this interview.)
Excellent stuff from the excellent people at Balloon Juice:
Some voters are more important than others:
Two weeks ago, Richard Posner, one of the most respected and iconoclastic federal judges in the country, startled the legal world by publicly stating that he’d made a mistake in voting to uphold a 2005 voter-ID law out of Indiana, and that if he had properly understood the abuse of such laws, the case “would have been decided differently.”
For the past ten days, the debate over Judge Posner’s comments has raged on, even drawing a response from a former Supreme Court justice.
Judge Posner claimed, during an Oct. 11 interview with HuffPost Live, that at the time of the ruling, he “did not have enough information … about the abuse of voter identification laws” to strike down the Indiana statute. But he also said the dissenting judge on the panel, Terence Evans, had gotten it “right” when he wrote that the law was “a not-too-thinly-veiled attempt to discourage election-day turnout” by certain voters who tended to vote Democratic. (It was passed on a straight party-line vote by a Republican-controlled legislature.)
Last Thursday, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens sounded several of the same notes, telling the Wall Street Journal that while he “isn’t a fan of voter ID,” his own 2008 opinion upholding Judge Posner’s ruling was correct — given the information available at the time. Incidentally, Justice David Souter dissented for roughly the same reasons as Judge Evans, and Justice Stevens now says that “as a matter of history,” Justice Souter “was dead right.”
In other words, both the Seventh Circuit and the Supreme Court got the balance of burdens wrong, as Indiana University law professor Fran Quigley rightly noted. Given that voting is a fundamental right, Quigley wrote, “the burden should have been on the State of Indiana to prove the law was necessary, not the challengers to prove how it would trigger abuse.”
Judge Evans put it more pungently in his 2007 dissent, saying the law was effectively using “a sledgehammer to hit either a real or imaginary fly on a glass coffee table.”
Rather than acknowledge this reality, Judge Posner’s original opinion dismissed the importance of the voters’ claims, contending that since no election gets decided by a single vote, the “benefits of voting to the individual voter are elusive.”
I’ve written about this twice before and some commenters (understandably angry) said that it doesn’t matter what Posner (and Stevens) say now because the deed is done.
It does matter, because we’re finally reaching the heart of this dispute. The conservative view on voting never made any sense. Voting is so unimportant that it doesn’t matter if people (here and there, whatever) are wrongfully disenfranchised AND so important that we need ever-increasing restrictions to “fight fraud.”
If one fraudulent vote is such an insult to the system that even the chance of that occurring justifies more and more restrictions, then one wrongfully disenfranchised voter is also vitally important and should justify protections. They can’t have it both ways, and they didn’t. They had it one way. Their way.
Their votes are important and can’t be “diluted” by the rest of you riffraff and their faith in the validity of elections is central and can’t be threatened even in the abstract, but your vote or your faith in the validity of elections when voters are disenfranchised? Get over it.
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Attorney general says statute would “disproportionately exclude minority voters” and be inconsistent with U.S. ideals